STAGE 1: Decisions, decisions …

Why did we decide to get married in Madeira?

tarasy widokowe na Maderze
Fot. Luis Frutuoso @luisfrutuoso92

Reason: Love for Madeira and its beauty

Madeira, just like my husband, stole my heart forever. We visit Madeira every year, and each visit is a huge joy – it is impossible to get bored with the island. Madeira definitely catches you, heart, allows you to slow down, and amazes you with its beauty. Madeira, from all the places we considered, offered us the most beautiful landscapes and the most magnificent locations for an outdoor wedding ceremony. 

Reason: Wedding season is 365 days a year

In Madeira, the weather is pleasant all year round, so we could have our dream outdoor wedding without having to book a venue year in advance. There is a big choice of wedding venues in Madeira and it is easier to find availability at the last minute. Neither of us wanted to take several years to plan a wedding. In Madeira, we were able to book a date in the location we wanted, and in the time period, we hoped for – only a few months in advance.

Reason: Near relatives

I always wanted to get married in a beautiful place, but more than that, I always wanted my family to be present at the wedding. For me, the presence of my relatives and being walked down the aisle by my father was extremely important. Many people are limited by their budget and time – choosing a remote location which would require a long journey, changing time zones, and jetlag would scare away our guests. Many of them might be offended by that choice.

We live in Europe, so for us, Madeira was a great compromise. It offered good weather, great venues for an outdoor wedding, and the location of the island itself is a big plus. It is rather easy to get to Madeira from most of the European countries, and the tickets are very affordable. We are flying south, so we do not have to worry about the jetlag.

Reason: Finances

When it comes to costs, a wedding in Portugal can cost much less than a similar wedding in other European countries. If you have a small budget, you can choose restaurants charging less than 30-40 EUR per person. [ Here ] you can read more about affordable options for a beach wedding in Porto Santo. 

Reason: An excuse for a nice holiday trip with my relatives

Sometimes I think that my main motivator for choosing a destination wedding in Madeira was the desire to give everyone an excuse for spending wonderful vacation time together and to gather them all in the same beautiful place, at the same time.

I have travelled a bit in my life and I always looked with mild jealousy at large families travelling together. Our family is a bit scattered around the world. Everyone has a busy job and/or a limited budget, so we never travelled as a group.

The idea of having all of them together in Madeira was just as exciting for me as the wedding itself. The idea of choosing Madeira was that everyone who flies there for the wedding would stay on the island at least a few extra days, which we would spend together. 

And indeed, it was a wonderful and unforgettable time. To properly discover what Madeira has to offer and visit all it’s best attractions, I recommend you and your guest to stay on the island for at least one week. 

Why did we choose a hotel in the centre of Funchal?

We considered many venues and settings. For a short while we were thinking about the option of renting a large private villa with a garden and adding a catering service, however, when compiling the guest list, we realised that the list was bigger than what we first expected… Instead, we focused on larger venues in hotels specialising in weddings.

Beach wedding in Porto Santo, Portugal. ~ Slub na plaży na portugalskiej wyspie Porto Santo
Fot. Vila Baleira

We really liked the beach wedding option in Porto Santo, but logically it would be a problem for some of our guests. We also found a surprisingly cheap hotel with a spectacular view on the cliffs of the northern coast of Madeira, but in October the weather is usually better in the south of the island. We decided to focus on the comfort of our guests and look for a more comfortable hotel in the centre or near Funchal & the airport. During the previous visit, we visited three hotels and even though it was not the cheapest option, we fell in love with one of them. 

This hotel is located right on the coast, offering great ocean views. In the hotel itself, there are several locations for the ceremony, the most famous of which is a platform between two infinity pools. The second most popular option is a romantic gazebo in a beautiful garden. The hotel also offers several sea view options under the roof, which may not be as spectacular as the outdoor areas, but are a good plan B in the event of very bad weather.

The planning (choosing colours, table set up, and the wedding menu) went rather smoothly – everything was agreed upon by e-mail and by phone directly with the hotel representative. When we arrived in Portugal a week before the wedding, we only had one meeting at the hotel to cross the “T’s, dot the”I’s.

Ślub za granicą - Ślub w Europie - Ślub w Portugalii - Ślub na Maderze
Fot. Miguel Ponte Photography

Decision – date

As we are no longer twenty year olds, none of us were excited about long term preparation of a big party, or about the thought of financing an expensive wedding. We wanted to settle formalities as soon as possible and officially start our international family. Autumn the same year, a couple of months after the engagement was the most suitable date for us and our closest families.

The hotel which we liked had two available dates in October: October 21 and 28. We chose the date 21/10/2017, not knowing how much luck we had in not choosing the later date. As it turned out two months later, Saturday 21/10/2017 was the last possible date with direct flights between Poland and Madeira. That really saved our families a lot of hassle and losing two entire days for travelling. 

For those who depend on a chartered flight or a particular flight connection, I strongly recommend checking the schedules while deciding on the wedding date.

Would you like to start planning your wedding in Madeira or Porto Santo? Do you have any wedding-related questions? Feel free to contact us!

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